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Golf tournament in Wallingford will honor Fred Ulbrich

WALLINGFORD — No single person has given more money to the Wallingford Foundation — the charitable arm of the Rotary Club — than Fred Ulbrich, according to Mark Davis, the club’s president.

Last fall, club members decided to honor Ulbrich’s caring personality by naming their annual fundraiser golf tournament after him. This year, the 25th annual Fred Ulbrich Golf Tournament will be held May 19 at the Farms Country Club. Previous events were named after Jim Backus, who 25 years ago “got the ball rolling” by contributing $10,000, Davis said.

This year, the goal was to honor Ulbrich while he was still alive, said Jon Kaplan, a Rotary Club member and co-chairman of the golf tournament. But Ulbrich, the board chairman of Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, died last Saturday at the age of 83. A day later, his wife, Joanne Ulbrich, died at the age of 77.

“We didn’t get to achieve our main goal; to honor Fred while he was still with us,” Kaplan said. “So it’s a big change.”

“It’s a sad time,” Davis said. “We were hoping Fred would be around, and unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

But the club is now “even more focused on having the tournament be a great event to honor his memory,” Kaplan said.

“It does make it extra special this year,” Kaplan said. “You don’t get a person like Fred that comes along very often.”

Ulbrich, a member of the club for five decades, “was tremendous over the years,” Davis said.

“There’s no one more worthy of honoring this year than Fred Ulbrich,” he added.

Ulbrich’s giving spirit has helped the Wallingford Foundation support several projects in town. All golf tournament proceeds go to the nonprofit foundation, which has funded projects and events at the Wallingford Public Library, Wallingford YMCA, the Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club, the Spanish Community of Wallingford and Master’s Manna. The foundation also helped build the pavilion at Doolittle Park and the low ropes course at Bertini Park. Internationally, the foundation has supported impoverished hospital patients in the Dominican Republic.

The golf tournament is the “one big fundraiser for the Wallingford Foundation,” Kaplan said. The proceeds will help replenish the foundation’s bank account. Recently, the foundation agreed to give $20,000 to help renovate the Sheehan High School planetarium.

“To me that’s really right up the alley of what we’re all about,” Kaplan said. “Things that will make a difference for kids in town.”

Every year, the foundation has a long list of grant requests, he said. “So we’re always looking for this event to be as big a success as we can make it.”

A dinner will be held after the tournament. Those wishing to play in the tournament or attend the dinner should visit the club’s website, www.wallingfordrotary.org, for information. The club is also seeking tournament sponsors. Those with questions can email Kaplan, at jonkaplan53@icloud.com, or call Davis, at 203-668-4080.

“Fred has just done so much that I think it’s very important to the club we have this be an event that we honor him properly,” Kaplan said.

aragali@record-journal.com (203) 317-2224 Twitter: @Andyragz



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